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February 25, 2010

And, indeed, most movies stink to this day

Jim Donahue

Picture this: The year is 1960, and you're an advertising executive. You've been given the campaign for a movie produced by Mike Todd Jr., in a new process called Smell-o-Vision. In this amazing new cinematic wonder, various odors will waft through the movie theater, keyed in to visuals on the screen in Scent of Mystery: a load of bread, flowers, a pipe, etc.*

It's a groundbreaking idea--a true milestone.

So you sit down at your desk, determined to compare Smell-o-Vision to earlier breakthroughs: The first moving pictures. And the dawn of sound, of course.

Suddenly, it all comes together, and you've got the most amazing ad line ever:

FIRST They Moved

THEN They Talked

NOW They Smell

No, I'm not making this up:


*Since Mike Todd Jr. is not John Waters and this is not Polyester, there is no dog poop.

(Via the Mobius Home Video Forum, where I nabbed the image.)


One of the most vivid memories of my childhood was going into "the city" from Brooklyn and watching Scent of Mystery in a big movie theater with my mother and big brother. I was 7 years old and I recall Chet Huntley's onscreen introductory remarks where he grabbed an orange and cut it open. Immediately the theater was filled with -- you guessed it -- orange scent.

The only other smells that I recall are those of roses and of elephants (!)

I didn't realize at the time that I was seeing the beginning -- an end -- of an era.

"end of an era'?

cf: Max Keiser

My bad. I meant to say "end of an error."

haha wow this is absolutely outrageous! I love it

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